Englishwoman wants to anglicise Afrikaans schools

Barbara Creecy, MEC for Education of Gauteng Province

Barbara Creecy, the MEC for Education in the Gauteng province of South Africa, has launched an all-out attack on Afrikaans high schools by threatening principals and busing in “English” (black) children to Fochville Hoërskool.

Ms. Creecy studied at the exclusive private English school with a British colonial culture, Roedean, in Johannesburg. In the tradition of Lords Somerset and Milner, as well as Kader Asmal who destroyed Afrikaans as a university language during his tenure as national minister of education, Creecy is intent on stamping out Afrikaans at high schools frequented by Afrikaans children. These schools are seen as “not multicultural enough” and transmitting a minority language and culture to children of which the province does not approve.

The province is littered with the mass graves of children who died in the concentration camps set up by Creecy’s forebears one hundred years ago. Then, the British colonial secretary for education, Sargent, said: “Our military police have gathered the vast majority of the children in these camps and I feel it is a golden opportunity to get them to speak English.” 27 000 children died in the camps and are buried in various sites in South Africa’s northern provinces.

The following information about Barbary Creecy is available on the departmental website:

Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy grew up in Johannesburg where she attended the University of Witwatersrand and became involved in the student movement in the 1970s.

She was part of the South African Students’ Press Union and used her journalism skills in ANC underground structures.

She became active in supporting political detainees and this led to a permanent position in the offices of apartheid defense attorney Priscilla Jana.

During the 1980s she worked at the Civic Desk of the United Democratic Front. In the early 1990s, she was part of a non-governmental organisation that specialised in organisational development of trade unions and community-based entities, where her she gained experience in adult education, community fieldwork and organisational development.

Creecy was elected to the Gauteng Legislature in 1994 and two years later was appointed Chairperson of the Social Welfare Committee. From 1999 to 2000 she was Deputy Chief Whip and in 2001 took over chairpersonship of the Education Committee.

Since 1997, she has been a member of the ANC Executive Committee of Greater Johannesburg and was the party’s National Coordinator for the 2004 elections.

She currently serves on the Provincial Executive Committee, on which she was responsible for managing the Gauteng ANC’s 2009 general election campaign. She has a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of London .

In 2004, she was appointed MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture, and in 2009 was appointed MEC for Education.

Creecy is the mother of Geeta and Sean and her free time is spent walking, nurturing her garden, or focused on a good book.